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Leadership Model

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Management and Leadership Competencies at UF

It’s a challenge to be an effective leader or manager in a complex institutional environment—but it’s certainly possible and absolutely critical to reaching our aspiration to become a premier university.  We hope you find this model useful as you reflect upon your own successes and opportunities. We also hope that you will take advantage of the leadership development programs that will assist you in cultivating these competencies and your own leadership excellence.

Jodi Gentry, Vice President for Human Resource Services, introduces the UF Leadership Competency Model and explains the research and development that went into its creation.


Build Trust



The ability to actively champion or influence an idea or position when needed; demonstrate support for faculty, staff, and organizational interests
Manager: Conveys confidence in employees’ ability to be successful, especially at challenging new tasks; supports and promotes faculty and staff interests; understands and facilitates the tenure, promotion, and permanent status process

Leader: Speaks out on issues of concern to the organization in order to exert influence on decisions affecting the organization; supports and promotes organizational interests; takes the lead and champions an idea or position

Emotional Intelligence
The skill of perceiving, understanding, and managing emotions and feelings effectively
Manager and Leader: Knows self; recognizes and considers the impact of own mood, biases, convictions, and behavior on others; senses others’ feelings and perspectives, and responds accordingly; builds rapport with others; controls and filters emotions in a positive way; effectively manages relationships
The genuine ability to relate to all people; unpretentious, polite, sharing credit, unafraid to admit mistakes
Manager and Leader: Is approachable; shares credit; admits mistakes; willing to sacrifice personal goals for organizational goals; realizes that personal success is connected to team success
Adhering to moral and ethical principles; soundness of character
Manager and Leader: Maintains and fosters ethical behavior in all business activities and decisions; gives consideration to the rights and viewpoints of others; strives to do the right thing without prompting; acts in a manner that is fair, forthright, and honest; keeps confidences; models and reinforces ethical behavior in self and others; builds trust at all levels of the organization; follows through on commitments; carries his/her share of the workload; perceived as responsible, reliable, and trustworthy; reliably maintains confidential and sensitive information
Role Model
The ability to lead by behavior and example that others can emulate
Manager: Exemplifies professional behavior and image; maintains consistency between words and actions; honors commitments; admits mistakes; possesses and applies technical knowledge and skills needed to make decisions and perform at a high level; stays current on practices and trends in area of expertise and plans/responds accordingly

Leader: Sets and demonstrates high professional standards; is sought out as a resource to provide advice or solutions; leads by example

The ability to clearly explain decisions and the process or motivations involved
Manager and Leader: Admits and fixes mistakes promptly; provides accurate information in a timely manner; makes decisions publicly when possible to instill trust; facilitates access to information; explains decisions; ensures that motives are clear and no hidden agendas


Create & Communicate Vision



The ability to listen actively; to impart thoughts, views, information, and ideas persuasively and adaptively
Manager: Clearly and effectively expresses thoughts, information, views, and ideas using both formal and informal methods; actively listens to others; maintains an open-door policy; adjusts style and format based on audience; invites dialogue with others; masters multiple methods to convey information (e.g. oral, email); ensures key issues are addressed; delivers information quickly and effectively up, down, and throughout the organization

Leader: Plans and delivers communications that are impactful and persuasive; delivers proactive communications on key issues; articulates a shared vision; creates a compelling and inspirational picture of the future; maintains visibility

Political Savvy
The ability to understand and apply the dynamics of influence, the workings of an organization, and decision-making to achieve objectives
Manager: Understands the formal and informal workings of the organization; understands and interprets internal and external forces affecting the job; knows organization’s mission, history, stakeholders, and customers; knows the “pace of business”

Leader: Understands how the organization operates, its goals, and the external factors that influence the success of the organization; uses tacit knowledge; uses the pace of work to achieve goals; understands the political climate and operates effectively within the climate

The expertise to ask the right questions, to identify issues, obstacles, and opportunities and leverage that information to develop and implement effective solutions
Manager: Addresses a problem by using a logical, systematic, sequential approach; uses facts and available information to develop logical assumptions; recognizes discrepancies and inconsistencies between facts and/or data; draws correct inferences from information; asks good questions and probes all sources for answers

Leader: Recognizes the appropriate problems to work on; marshals resources needed to work on a problem; looks for creative and innovative solutions

Strategic Thinking
The ability to clarify and articulate direction, priorities, and a shared vision
Manager: Fosters an ongoing dialogue about the team’s vision and purpose; develops and communicates goals that align with the organization’s vision and purpose; sets clear expectations and establishes a course of action to achieve goals; sets priorities; thinks proactively; anticipates and prepares for roadblocks

Leader: Builds an inspirational and compelling shared vision and sense of core purpose; fosters an ongoing dialogue about the organization’s vision and purpose; analyzes the organization’s position relative to similar institutions and develops strategy based on current position; creates a climate of creativity to achieve organizational goals; understands how vision and purpose in other areas of the organization interrelate with own area; inspires the broader organization to share their vision


Generate Alignment



The ability to create a culture based on clear standards and the expectation that personal responsibility is the norm across all work units
Manager: Accepts personal responsibility; expects personal responsibility from “higher-ups”, peers, and employees; articulates standards; ensures people execute at a high standard of work; is consistent; willing to have difficult conversations when needed

Leader: Creates a culture of a high standard of work; fosters culture of responsibility between work units

The drive for results and efficiencies that achieve intended, measurable outcomes
Manager: Able to determine appropriate processes to get things done; knows how to organize people and activities to ensure favorable outcomes; understands how to separate and combine tasks into efficient work flow; finds or creates ways to measure performance against goals; establishes efficient structures, processes, and teams to meet objectives; maintains commitment to goals; seeks out and implements organizational techniques for optimal performance; follows tasks through to completion and takes responsibility for results; completes projects within specified time and budget parameters; meets deadlines; measures results to stated goals; integrates technology to improve efficiency or effectiveness

Leader: Mobilizes appropriate resources to achieve goals; considers return on investment prior to starting a new project; takes calculated risks; uses best practices to apply specialized knowledge to organizational problems; works across organizational boundaries to achieve desired results; concentrates on outcomes rather than activities

Fair and Legal Management
The ability to create a workplace environment that ensures safety, security, fairness, and inclusion for employees, and complies with all federal, state, and university regulations
Manager and Leader: Maintains a fair and legal work environment by understanding and complying with university, state, and federal requirements such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, fiscal regulations and guidelines, and anti-discrimination policies and legislation; supports UF’s EEO principles
Financial Management
The acumen to make smart decisions with an overall understanding of the financial factors and implications of those decisions
Manager and Leader: Understands funding and budgeting model and applies this to balance competing demands for resources; understands key financial indicators; uses cost-benefit thinking to set priorities; establishes and implements sound financial management practices and controls; manages budget within set parameters
Demonstrates the ability to make decisions authoritatively and wisely after adequately considering various courses of action
Manager and Leader: Learns from mistakes; knows when to speak and when to listen; uses discretion when called for; can perceive climate and respond accordingly; understands the impact and implications of decisions; weighs costs, benefits, risks, and possible rewards when assessing a situation; makes timely and sound decisions


Cultivate Talent



The capacity to empower and develop others and provide effective performance feedback
Manager and Leader: Committed to the development of others; delegates responsibility and authority to the lowest appropriate level; identifies and nurtures talents in others on a one-on-one basis; provides open, honest feedback and accurate information; addresses performance issues promptly; provides direction and meaning to people’s work; reinforces/redirects behaviors as needed; develops and fosters faculty and staff; encourages continuous learning; removes barriers by providing the appropriate tools and resources to achieve goals
The intentional ability to work co-operatively with others; to be part of a team, and share information across and between work units
Manager: Fosters interdisciplinary/interdepartmental cooperation; encourages teamwork; provides opportunities to work across work units; solicits input from others; shares knowledge and information; obtains cooperation from others

Leader: Creates culture that encourages sharing between work units

Facilitative decision-making
The ability to build consensus, encourage shared governance, seek input from diverse groups, and assert authority when necessary to ensure a resolution
Manager: Manages group interaction effectively; builds consensus; manages meetings effectively; manages self during conversations; doesn’t personalize disagreement; reacts appropriately – doesn’t over- or under-react to a situation; knows when to close a discussion and move to a decision

Leader: Willing to assert authority when necessary to facilitate change, face issues, overcome an impasse, or ensure a resolution; creates a culture and processes that encourage shared governance; fosters climate that supports consensus; seeks and values input from diverse groups when making decisions

The firm determination to do something in spite of obstacles to achieve organizational results
Manager and Leader: Willing to state an opinion, have a conversation, or take charge of a situation despite potential opposition; willing to make decision in difficult or ambiguous situations, especially when time is critical; approaches challenging tasks with a willing attitude
Talent Selection
The ability to assess staffing needs and foster an effective process to recruit, interview, select, and retain diverse staff to meet long-term organizational needs
Manager and Leader: Assesses current and future staffing needs based on organizational goals and budget realties; understands and uses effective interviewing questions and techniques; creates and facilitates a process to recruit, interview, and select qualified staff; values diversity in applicant pools and hires